Best Non Alcoholic Spirits

by RJ Peristere

Let's first admit how amazing it is that we have the option to buy a whiskey or a tequila alternative that doesn't have any alcohol. We've all missed the flavors of a delicious margarita and we're tired of drinking the same ole mocktails. Can't wait for another cranberry and club soda! Just kidding. Although that is a pretty good drink. If anything, there are almost too many options now.

What we're going to do is break it down by category of spirit. Best non alcoholic whiskies, best non alcoholic tequilas etc... We're going to list out our favorites and why we like them.

For a quick glance best rankings :

  1. Lyre's American Malt

  2. Trejos Tequila Alternative

  3. Lyre's Dark Cane

  4. Lyre's Dry London Spirit

non alcoholic Spirits

Best Non Alcoholic Whiskeys

Let's start with the ultimate classic liquor, whiskey or as they call it in Kentucky, bourbon. The first cocktails other than punches we're crafted with bitters and various whiskeys. In fact, I'd say the Sazerac and the Old Fashioned are synonymous with craft cocktails. So you might be wondering, can I still have these cocktails without the bourbon?

The hardest part about making an non alcoholic mocktail is finding a flavor that matches with a traditional bourbon. The good news is that non-alcoholic bourbons have been sprouting up and there are actually some pretty good ones now. Times have changed thank goodness. Let's start with the basics below. Also something to keep in mind, in addition to being the alcohol free version, zero proof whiskies and bourbons have next to zero calories. They make great mixers while also keeping your waist line thin. See our alcohol free old fashioned recipe.

non alcoholic old fashioned

Lyre's American Malt - Bourbon Style

This is by far the best of the bunch. While no Bourbon alternative is going to be the same as a traditional bourbon. This non alcoholic bourbon gets the closest to tasting similar to whiskey. At first sniff and taste, you may think this isn't quite what I remember but after you have a few mixed drinks with it, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. It does really well as a mixed drink and is quite good with some ice cubes as well.

Reason to Buy :

  • The best tasting of NA bourbons

  • Mixes well with other beverages

  • Closest to actual bourbon flavor

Reasons to Avoid :

  • If you're looking to drink something neat

  • Maybe a bit expensive

na bourbon

Price : 37.80$

Bare Zero Proof Bourbon

BARE Zero Proof Bourbon Whiskey is a non-alcoholic expression with notes of oak, vanilla, caramel and other botanicals. The beauty of the Bare zero proof bourbon is the mimicry of the flavor and color of the bourbon. While it's impossible to replace the inherent harshness of a 50% alcohol spirit, this gets pretty close. The key flavor notes...vanilla, oak and caramel are really what make a bourbon special and this is no exception. This na spirit does quite well in mixed drinks and mocktails.

Reasons to Buy :

  • The oakiness reminds you of traditional spirits

  • Mixes well with bitters and strong mixers

Reasons to Avoid :

  • If you prefer less vanilla flavor

  • Tastes the least like Bourbon

  • Strong herbal extracts and flavors

na bourbon, na whiskey

Price : 39.99$ at the Zero Proof

Spiritless Kentucky 74 Bourbon

Kentucky 74 is a distilled, non-alcoholic bourbon from Kentucky – bourbon’s homeland. This is perfect for an old fashioned mocktail. Bold, flavorful and hits the major notes of a delicious cocktail without the booze.

With each sip, you’ll get smooth notes of vanilla, caramel and oak… and a little kick of spice. Kentucky 74 is perfect for making your favorite bourbon cocktails (without the booze).

Reasons to Buy :

  • Spiritless is made in Kentucky like true Bourbons (we think that matters!)

  • A bit spicy like more traditional high alcoholic spirits

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Similar to why you should buy, the flavor can be a bit peppery

  • Needs to be mixed, not the best on it's own

na whiskey

Price : 37.99

Best Non Alcoholic Tequilas

The goal of a great non alcoholic tequila is to match the agave flavors and sweet oak that you would find in alcoholic spirits. We found some great examples that we think will not only mix well with margaritas or other traditional tequila drinks but also can be enjoyed alone. Overall, expect the alternatives to be a bit sweeter than classical tequila but can be compensated for with proper mixing.

Trejos Spirits Tequila Alternative

Our favorite NA tequila alternative and best tequila alternative. One of things that are always missing from alcohol free alternatives is the full bodied flavor that comes along with traditional spirits. There's a certain richness and fullness that's incredibly hard to replicate in nonalcoholic cocktails. Trejos Spirits comes the closest that we have seen so far. Trejos has a strong finish that even comes with a mild burning sensation that you've become accustomed to with traditional tequilas. We recommend using a bit more tequila than their recipes call for to really capture the flavor

Reasons to Buy :

  • Best flavor profile and makes the best margaritas

  • Great mixer and drinks well neat

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Not 100% like tequila (but that's a tough ask)

trejos tequila alternative,

Price : 36.00$

Mixoloshe Non Alcoholic Tequila

Tequila is a tricky NA spirit to get right. We will say this has the perfect amount of bite/burn, which many spirit substitutes either over do or lack entirely. The price point is relatively affordable for comparable nonalcoholic beverages and other zero proof spirits. Like most nonalcoholic drinks, this tequila does best when it is mixed.

Reasons to buy :

  • Flavor is well rounded up front

  • It's a sweet mixer so goes well with harsher citrus flavors

  • Strong notes of caramel

  • Great price point

Reasons to avoid :

  • If you don't like sweet mocktails or drinks

tequila alternative

Price : 24.99$

Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative

Ritual Zero Proof tequila is quite similar to a traditional tequila. This batch actually gets quite close to what you would expect in a tequila shot. You'll notive flavors of chilis and peppercorns. We will say there isn't too much agave flavor however in most Tequila alternatives you would experience a wattery agave flavor. This is great for margaritas and to drink alone.

Reasons to Buy :

  • Similar flavor to tequila with alcohol

  • Tastes well mixed or neat

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Has strong herbal flavors

Agave non alcoholic

 Price : 26.08$$

Best Non Alcoholic Rums

Rum is a fun spirit to make without alcohol. After all, it's the only liquor that the primary flavors are sweet sugar and caramel. Obviously there are spiced rums as well, and we will happily recommend those too. These non alcoholic spirits do best mixed with traditional rum drinks. Think Pina Colada and a rum and cokes.

Lyre Dark Cane Spirit

Our favorite and recommended rum alternative. This is one of the best non alcoholic spirits and gets as close to an actual rum flavor without the alcohol. This is best enjoyed as a mixed drink with traditional rum mixers, think fruit juices, coconut water etc. The bottle is absolutely beautiful and we love the design and artwork on the front.

Reasons to Buy :

  • Closest to an actual rum flavor

  • Pairs really well with traditional mixers

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Lacks a bit of sweetness. We recommend adding a little sugar

na rum, na spirit, na liquor

Price : 34.02 $$

Caleno Dark and Spicy

What's great about the Caleno Dark and Spicy is it tastes a lot like coconut rum. We're big fans of traditional coconut rums and this goes really well with a ginger beer for a Dark and Stormy or a rum and coke. The caleno has a nice caramel color and comes in a beautiful bottle than looks great on a bar cart or on a shelf. Of all the booze free spirits, this is one of our favorites. Use our dark rum old fashioned recipe with Caleno as a substitute.

Reasons to Buy :

  • Strong Flavor Profile

  • Beautiful Design

Reasons to Avoid

  • If you don't like spiced rum

na spiced rum

Price : 33.00$$

ISH Caribbean Spiced Rum

If you're going to drink nonalcoholic spirits and you're looking for a place to start, then this is a good option. A more botantical flavor than the other rums with more herbal extracts and influences. You will still find tasting notes that you would expect in a classic rum or classic cocktails. This is great to make complex drinks or even simple ones. Ish also stays true to the history of rum in their distilling process.

Reasons to Buy :

  • Closest to Actual Rum

  • Mixes very well

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Lacks spice

  • Doesn't have a deep brown color if that's what your expecting

Ish Rum alternative, na rum

Price : 20.99

Best Non Alcoholic Gins

The first thing we'll say about na gins is how many of them are similar to botanical mixtures. After all gin is essentially a herbal flavor liquid with a bit of citrus or extract flavors. With that in mind...our recommendations

Tilden Lacewing

The Tilden is perhaps the strongest of the flavor profiles of the different gins substitutes. It has a nice lychee flavor with some cucumber and basil notes as well. When poured over a club soda or sparkling water then you can really taste the similarities to a gin and tonic. You can even mix with tonic water as well to get that kind of sugary bite that you would expect from a G & T.

Reasons to Buy:

  • The Szechuan pepper adds a bit of a spicy kick giving it a uniquely sharp flavor

  • Mixes fantastic with tonic water

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Best enjoyed mixed with another beverage

alcohol free gin, botanical gin

Price : 35.00$$

Amass Gin

Amass has perhaps the most delicate flavor profile of the bunch. Amass has hints of cucumber and reminds me a bit of a strong spa water. This defintiely fits the more California sober type vibe. It comes in a very chic bottle and has many natural flavors that make it mix well with seltzers or to drink straight with some ice.

Reasons to Buy:

  • If you like spa water or heavy cucumber flavors

  • Mixes well with citrus flavors

na gin, alcohol free botanitcal

Price : 39.00$$

Lyre's Dry London Spirit

Lyre's once again outdid themselves with their Dry London Spirit. We found the flavor to have a strong floral bouquet, while just sweet enough with a touch of juniper flavoring. The only note is when you open the bottle there can be a bit of scent. But after mixing the beverage, you'll appreciate the flavor that Lyre's was able to achieve. This alternative goes perfect with a Gin and Tonic and one of the better non alcoholic spirits.

Reasons to Buy :

  • Close to an actual gin

  • Great flavor profile with floral, juniper and enough sweetness

  • Great over ice

Reasons to Avoid :

  • Has a bit of an aftertaste, but so does gin?

na gin,

Price : 37.80$$

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